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In My Father's House

A New View of How Crime Runs in the Family
Narrated by: Paul Michael
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist: a pathbreaking examination of our huge crime and incarceration problem that looks at the influence of the family - specifically one Oregon family with a generations-long legacy of lawlessness.

The US currently holds the distinction of housing nearly one-quarter of the world's prison population. But our reliance on mass incarceration, Fox Butterfield argues, misses the intractable reality: As few as five percent of families account for half of all crime, and only 10 percent account for two-thirds. 

In introducing us to the Bogle family, the author invites us to understand crime in this eye-opening new light. He chronicles the malignant legacy of criminality passed from parents to children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. 

Examining the long history of the Bogles, a white family, Butterfield offers a revelatory look at criminality that forces us to disentangle race from our ideas about crime and, in doing so, strikes at the heart of our deepest stereotypes. He makes clear how these new insights are leading to fundamentally different efforts at reform. 

With his empathic insight and profound knowledge of criminology, Butterfield offers us both the indelible tale of one family's transgressions and tribulations and an entirely new way to understand crime in America.

©2018 Fox Butterfield (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"[In My Father’s House] sometimes unfolds like a novel.... It’s a riveting multiperson topic-specific biography - the characters and context are strongly drawn and the whole creates the feel of drama even though we pretty well know where the story is going - but it’s also an intriguing and sometimes disturbing deep dive into some powerful social dilemmas.” (Mickey Edwards, Los Angeles Times

“Part of the pleasure of the unseemly story Butterfield unspools is its universality.... The Bogles, Butterfield’s subject here, will ring familiar even if you’ve never personally known anyone like them...vivid.” (Alice B. Lloyd, The Weekly Standard

 
“Remarkably informative, inherently fascinating, impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking . . . an extraordinary and engaging read from beginning to end.” (Midwest Book Review

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Profile Image for Pam Jacobs
  • Pam Jacobs
  • 27-10-18

Sad tale

if you want some insights into criminality and how poverty, mental illness, and addiction and abuse create dismal outcomes...this is a good example. leads one to conclude that adopting out children from these families might be best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Leesha
  • 28-12-18

Title of this book is very misleading

Shocking statistics:
5% of the families in America commit 50% of all crime.
10% of families in America commit 2/3's of all crime.

That's where the science ends.
This is not a book about how crime runs in FAMILIES. <-plural
This is about one singular family.
The stories in this book are anecdotes and hearsay from the criminals in this family. We know that criminals lie. I'm not sure how reliable these stories really are.

But here is what I found really disappointed about this book.
1. The book completely ignores the nature vs nurture debate.
2. The book ignores any and all questions about science, genetics, and criminality.
3. The book ignores any questions about the concept of free will.

Why write a book like this but ignore all of the science around the topic? What's the point?

The author even confesses that other people avoid discussing the role of the family in criminal behavior like the plague because it raises uncomfortable questions about heredity as a source of criminality, and which could lead to reinforcing racism. So what does he do? He does the same thing as everyone else. He avoids the topic.

This book should have been marketed as a crime family history.
I really wish I had known this before I bought it.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ingrid
  • 29-10-19

Loved every minute

Very realistic view of the struggles of growing up in a negative environment. It's a vicious cycle.. difficult to break.

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  • Tori B Avery
  • 26-04-19

Triggers of Abuse

I understood this would be a book of crime, as how it runs in families, but wasn’t prepared for the detailed descriptions of abuse throughout the book. Wouldn’t read it again, but so glad I read it! Very intriguing read.

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  • Tim
  • 27-02-19

Rotten Family Tree

I've always enjoyed reading and watching about true crime, but they always talk about the crime and they hardly ever explain what influenced the criminal. "In My Father's House" is a story about a real life family of criminals. Outstanding information how an entire family going back generations after generations of abuse, addictions and metal illness, pile up to a rotten family tree.

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  • Alexander Drakh
  • 20-02-19

great listen

eye opening to just how detrimental a poor family environment can be. please love your children , help them strive for greatness and be there for them, always.